Exhibitionists·In Residence

Watch 2 beautiful films that reflect on the dark side of digital habits

On this week's episode of CBC Arts: Exhibitionists, catch "Our Love" and "Sister Narcissa" by Dylan Glynn.

On this week's episode of CBC Arts: Exhibitionists, catch 'Our Love' and 'Sister Narcissa' by Dylan Glynn

Scene from "Our Love" by Dylan Glynn. (Courtesy of the artist)

There are a few basic stats we can tell you about this week's Exhibitionist in Residence, Dylan Glynn. He's 27, he lives in Toronto, he studied animation at Sheridan Collage (in Oakville, Ont.) and La Poudrière (in France). Sometimes, he Instagrams dead-funny comics about his mom; other times, he writes and illustrates kids' books (Rainboy, coming soon from Chronicle Books).

But for all the stuff we could summarize off his website bio, nothing could help you get to know this week's featured filmmaker like the introduction he made himself, so do yourself a favour and just press play.

Do it.

Dylan Glynn introduces you to his emotional, melancholic and just plain craaaaazy animations. 0:39

"Yeah," laughs Glynn, "that was a lot of fun to do" — and shoutout to the clip's co-director, Kyle Mowat, the pal he credits with taking the video whole new level of extra.

We'll be airing clips from two of Glynn's short films, "Sister Narcissa" and "Our Love" on Friday's program, and they're pretty much the polar opposite tone of what you just watched. Nothing zany to see here. But they capture an emotion that Glynn spent the last few years trying to nail in his films — a tranquil, but troubled, beauty.

"It's like beauty as an emotion. I feel like that's the thing I'm going for," he says.

Both films reflect a bit on the dark side of our digital habits. "Our Love," from 2017, was inspired by his own love-hate experience with online dating. Says Glynn, "I hope people can watch it and just relate to it. Like, 'Oh yeah, I've felt like that too,' and feel a bit consoled by that. I think a lot of people have had these crushes that have a strong, obsessive online component."

And "Sister Narcissa" is a subtly contemporary take on the classic Narcissus myth. (His "Narcissa," for example, is underlit in blue like she's clutching a glowing iPhone.)

Keenly melancholy, both feature languid, hand-painted backgrounds. Watercolour and gouache are his go-to mediums. Says Glynn: "It has a lot of intrinsic beauty that digital work has a hard time matching."

"I really just want people to watch and feel this specific emotion I was talking about — this beautiful feeling, this calm feeling."

Have a look.

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists online or on CBC Television. Tune in Fridays at 11:30 p.m. (midnight NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4 p.m. NT).

About the Author

Leah Collins is the Senior Writer at CBC Arts.

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